Review: The John Steel Singers



Words by Oliver Marshall.

The John Steel Singers came to Adelaide at Jive Bar for one last time as a part of their Midnight At The Plutonium album tour, and man was it one send off.


Chiara La Woo were the local support act and provided the goods with their reggae psychedelic blend and good humour playing to the early crowd.


Up and comer Alex Lahey was the main support and played a ripping set. Big things have been touted for her and it’s easy to see why. Her laid-back stage presence and gritty vocals with cleverly crafted lyrics made, for dare I say it, the perfect support.


The John Steel Singers came on to the stage, all 7 of them in matching greyish purple shirts (there was a disagreement with a friend over the shirt colour). The group only just fitted on the stage but man I’m glad they did. They kicked things off with the title track off the album. An upbeat funky, almost futuristic sounding tune, Midnight at Plutonium set the mood for the entire set.

The 7 piece were clearly enjoying themselves cracking jokes and getting the small but keen audience involved. Before playing one of their older tracks, Masochist, Lead singer Tim Morrissey urged the audience forward and then said something along the lines “of if you don’t push forward you can do it next time, oh wait, no you can’t because this is the last time we’ll be here”. With the audience pushed up to the front, the John Steel Singers ripped out probably my favourite song of the night. The highlight of Masochist might  have been the smooth sax which was almost reminiscent of saxophone you’d hear on a 90s rap song.


Morrissey proclaimed on a couple of songs that this was the best song to ever come out of Brisbane. Bold claims, especially naming two songs the best ever but to be fair they were pretty bloody good.


Something that at times really does annoy me at gigs is the encore. Everyone knows they’re coming back but yet you make a lot of noise just to be sure. This clearly gets on the nerves of the John Steel Singers as well. The going off and coming back on really just makes for unnecessary walking. Lead singer Tim just said, “pretend we’re off stage now, this is the encore”. He also made us do a slow clap that got too fast too quickly. It was the whole encore experience without the encore, it’s got a big tick from me. The encore song was Can You Feel the Future. A catchy funk filled song to get you dancing ended the show on a high. Unfortunately, it appears there’s no more future for the John Steel Singers but their past and present is damn good as highlighted by their last Brilliant show in Adelaide.


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